Health and safety in the horse industry can sometimes be likened to a “horse
with a funny look in its eye” - there are those that are frightened to approach it and those who do sometimes get it
terribly wrong, with disastrous results.
The first three weeks of 2007 saw comments in equestrian magazines that health
and safety is taking too much time, stopping worthwhile activities and is responsible for businesses closing down.These views aren't new and are frequently echoed across the industry.
Sadly there are too many “bonkers conkers” examples in all walks of
life.A council decided to remove goalposts from a children's football pitch,
fearing that ramblers might bump into them at night.Another council employed
a health and safety consultant to draw up rules on how to make a cup of tea safely1.Unfortunately, we hear similar equestrian related stories from the horse industry.
Recently Alan Beith MP, Chairman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiring
into the 'compensation culture' said2 “There is a real problem with excessive risk aversion in Britain
today, but it is not caused by personal injuries litigation or the ‘no-win-no-fee’ system.…… The root causes of excessive risk aversion, such as misunderstanding of risk assessment,
are what need to be addressed.”
Last August, launching the principles of sensible risk management, Bill Callaghan,
Chair of the HSC, said3 “I’m sick and tired of hearing that ‘health and safety’ is stopping
people doing everyday activities when at the same time others are suffering real harm and even death as a result of mismanagement
at work.Some of the ‘health and safety’ stories are just myths.……But behind many of the
stories, there is at least a grain of truth – someone really has made an irrational decision.…… My message is that if you’re using health and safety to stop everyday activities –
get a life and let others get on with theirs.”
In response to the consultation on the industry strategy Riding Safely commented4
“There are no specific proposals within the draft strategy that address the management of the risks associated with
health, safety and environmental issues that may seriously impact on public and employee health & safety and affect the
public perception, viability and business performance of the horse industry”, adding that action needs to be taken.
The “horse with a funny look in its eye” is still there and the risk
is that it will continue to be there until those who represent the bodies at the top of the industry tackle the problem of
health & safety once and for all.
It's time for the industry to act to protect people, horses, activities and keep
businesses in business.
1Workplace Law - Excessive risk aversion: bad for business - 28 February 2007
·Action plan for Horse Industry
Strategy launched - An action plan supporting the Strategy for the Horse Industry in England
and Wales (published in December 2005) set out how all 50
of the strategy’s action points will be implemented. Read more
·£4bn spent on horses, says BETA survey - The National Equestrian Survey commissioned
by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) revealed that horse owners and riders spend around £4 billion per year
on what has become a growing leisure activity.Read more
·New nationally accredited Level
2 Award for Health & Safety in the Equine Industry -Read more
·Highway Code Consultation -
The Driving Standards Agency consulted on the revision of The Highway Code. Read more
·Horse world gets ahead on child
protection -Read more
·Free advisory service on health
and safety for small businesses goes live- Delivered in partnership with the Health and Safety
Executive, Workplace Health Connect, a new free confidential advisory service on workplace health and safety for smaller businesses
was launched.Read more
April, May & June 2006
·New health and safety guidance for livery yards launched –Read more
·MoD helps equestrian events by
restricting low level flying –Read more
·Ragwort poses health threat to humans, horses, cattle and sheep, BHS conference told –Read more
July & August 2006
·Focus on Wind Turbines and the
Equestrian –Read more
horses" - Highways Agency helps horseriders -28 July 2006 saw the opening of BlackPondBridlewayBridge,
which has been fully upgraded to equestrian standards to allow horse riders to safely cross the A3 near Esher Common in Surrey– Read more
·“Get a life”, says
HSC – The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) urged people to focus on real risks – those that cause real
harm and suffering – and stop concentrating effort on trivial risks and petty health and safety. To help take this forward
HSE launched a set of key principles: practical actions that they believe sensible risk management should, and should not,
be about – Read more
·Compensation Act 2006 -
The Compensation Act containing provisions relating to the law of negligence and breach of statutory duty; damages for mesothelioma;
and the regulation of claims management services received Royal Assent on 25 July 2006.Read more
The influential joint BHIC/DEFRA horse industry strategy has received positive
feedback throughout the world, including the USA and Japan.
Most recently it has been debated and discussed in Japan,
demonstrating that the groundbreaking strategy work which we are undertaking is being taken up by other countries.
BETA International, the world’s foremost equestrian and country trade exhibition
was held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK from 18-20 February,
2007.Retail buyers from the equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet markets
visited BETA International to see products exhibited by around 400 companies from more than 20 different countries.Attendance over the three days was 5,378.
The following reports are available from the BETA International 2007 website:
buying at "upbeat" BETA International - New launches and good quality products captured buyers' interest at a smooth-running
BETA International 2007.Read more at http://www.beta-int.com/news22_buying.html
International rewards innovation - Exciting new products in saddlery, feed, clothing, safety and horsecare were recognised
by the 2007 BETA International Innovation Awards. Read more at http://www.beta-int.com/news21_innawards.html
But what did Riding Safely find of
interest at BETA International 2007?
At BETA International, Riding Safely is always on the lookout for quality products
that can minimise the risk of accidents and injuries.So what met the criteria
this year to form the choice of Riding Safely?
EZ Tippa Wheelbarrow from the Real
What is it?“The E.Z.Tippa is a rotating handle system for wheelbarrows that offers its users greater safety,
control, manoeuvrability and ease of use.”
Highly commended in the Horsecare Products & Equipment Innovation Awards, the
judges said “A surprising twist to an old concept that updates one of the horse owners’ most used products.”
Riding Safely adds - There are far too
many people who work in the horse industry who suffer from aches and pains in their backs as a result of lifting and handling.Manual handling is an issue for the industry and anything that can minimise the risk
must be welcome.
What is it?“The StudStasha is incredibly simple but effective: it comprises an elasticated fabric wristband
(similar in appearance to a tennis wristband) which contains a powerful magnet. This magnet will hold four or more studs securely
while you are studding up, so that the studs are always in reach yet keeping both hands free. If you do lose a stud in long
grass, the magnet can be used like a metal detector to find it again. The wristband is stretchy enough to fit a bare arm or
over heavy clothing.”
Winner of the Innovations Award for Safety and Security the judges said “A
really simple, useful, everyday product – the kind that makes you say “why didn’t I think of that?”
Riding Safely adds - keeping loose studs
safe and secure is essential.A lost stud can be a dangerous stud, particularly
What is it?From the well-established manufacturer Tornado Wire Ltd, the range of Tornado Horse Fencing “has
specifically been designed with the horse in mind to play a multifunctional role not only in reducing the risk of escape onto
public highways, motorways or into urban areas but also as a deterrent to domestic animals such as dogs.Manufactured from high tensile, heavy galvanised wire the unique close wire spacing of both the stay and
the line wires provides a combination of strength and durability.In addition,
the spring-like properties of the product means it will flex under the horses’ pressure before returning to its original
shape, retaining its original strength.”
Riding Safely adds - Probably an overlooked
product when it comes to horse fencing.A product that combines strength and
a mesh size to minimise the risk of entrapment has the potential to be a cost effective fencing solution for everyone who
needs to keep horses safe and secure on their premises.
What is it?Computer software that can assist anyone preparing for a dressage competition.Two products in particular caught the eye of Riding Safely;
“The Equitest Series has preloaded
dressage tests so you can practice your test as many times as you like. See the test as if you are riding it, from the side
of the arena and from the judges box. See the products pages of the website for individual country products.Fully endorsed by British Dressage, British Eventing, US Equestrian Federation and the Svenska Ridport
“Dressage Divas is the first and
only completely interactive guide to riding to music. Whether you want to spice up your schooling plans or compete in affiliated
competitions, this product is a 'must'. You can plan your routine, print diagrams of your test, then add in your favourite
music. Dressage Divas uses a powerful shrink and stretch music editor to allow you get the perfect fit of music to your horse’s
paces. Compatible with systems and tests in all countries.”
Riding Safely adds - if you're comfortable
with using a computer then these products may be for you.There's never ever
going to be a substitute for practising with your horse, but by being able to learn and visualise the test before putting
a foot in the stirrup, these have the potential to reduce the mental and physical stress for both you and your horse.
Now in their fourth year and widely acknowledged as the equestrian industry’s
‘Oscars’, the awards were presented during the BETA Gala Dinner at the Metropole Hotel in Birmingham, on 18th
Riding Safely would like to congratulate and make special mention of this year's
winner of the BETA Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented by BETA to mark special and significant contribution to
the equestrian industry over a long period of time.
This year it was awarded to Barry Fehler of South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB).
Barry was 17 when he founded Specialising in Equine Insurance.As well as being the market leader in insurance for rural taxis, SEIB is now in the top 75 of all brokers
in the UK.
A lifelong horseman, Barry developed equine insurance as we know it today by introducing
such innovations as cover for loss of use, loss by straying and veterinary fees. His ideas for a vet emergency helpline and
horsebox insurance likewise grew from Barry’s equine-related experiences.
SEIB has provided sustained support to wide range of equestrian events. Conceived
a decade ago, Search For A Star has encouraged amateur riders to bring their horses to the show ring.
Many ex-racehorses have found new jobs via the Racehorse to Riding Horse Show Championships
which culminated in a HOYS final last year. Thoroughbreds across the disciplines have also been recognised thanks to the Racehorses
to Riding Horses Points Championship.
SEIB also supports BHS Hunter Trials, Trec, BEF Young Horse Evaluations, Trailblazers
and the Riding Clubs’ Quadrille, Dressage to Music and Horse Trials.
BETA’s Retailer of the Year Award is sponsored by SEIB, underlining the diverse
nature of the company’s involvement with the equestrian industry.
Married with three children, Barry owns more than 40 animals. Many have found sanctuary
with the Fehler family, including ex-racehorses, re-homed Spanish dogs and cats and a pony called Tiny Tim who was found abandoned
20 years ago.
A prolific winner with his show horses Assurance, Princes
Street and Elite, Barry has also bred dressage and event horses.
As well as owning SEIB, he is a director of the Institute
of Insurance Brokers and of Broker Direct Plc. He also owns Escape Travel Ltd.
“Barry has proved that it’s possible to be successful by combining
entrepreneurial skills with a genuine concern for the welfare of horses and their owners,” said Claire Williams, executive
director of BETA.
“Through his endeavours, SEIB has made immeasurable contributions to equestrianism
via sponsorship. And just as Barry is personally modest and understated in his approach, SEIB makes a point of supporting
grass roots riders as well as top level stars.”
BETA International 2008 takes place
at the NEC, Birmingham on 17-19 February 2008.
L-R Jane Fowler on 'Darcy', Dave Sledge, Sue Lees on 'Mehdar'
helps Horseriders to cross the M4 in Wiltshire Safely
The Highways Agency has
completed construction of the new Leafy Lane foot and bridelway bridge over the M4 between Junctions 16 and 17, near Dauntsey in Wiltshire.
The new bridge uses rubber
tiles made from recycled tyres to make the surface less slippery for horses. In addition, it provides higher headroom clearance
over the hard shoulders than the previous bridge.
Other benefits of the bridge
include raised sides and solid infill panels, so that horses cannot see traffic passing underneath.
Highways Agency project
manager, Dave Sledge, said:
"The bridge has been replaced
to meet current safety standards. The higher clearance means that the hard shoulders can now be used by high sided vehicles
and also by the emergency services.
"We have also been in consultation
with the British Horse Society to make sure that the new bridge uses non-slip rubber tiles, which help horses to be more sure-footed
when crossing. Our research has also shown that horses are calmer when there is screening in place, such as with the high
sides on this bridge."
The British Horse Society's
Director of Access, Safety and Welfare, Mark Weston, said:
"This new bridge is a welcome
improvement that is very much needed for horse riders. The solid infill panels and rubber tiles make it much safer and easier
for riders to cross the M4 at this location than before."
Source:Highways Agency (South West)24 January 2007
A66 bridges to be made horse-friendly
HORSE riders are being given a safe new route over the Brundholme and Spooney Green
bridges on the A66 near Keswick.
Fees for criminal records checks have been frozen at last year's levels as the
Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), achieves self-funding status for the first time.
The fee freeze comes after year-on-year efficiency savings and service improvements
over the last 12 months including:
- the launch of their online tracking tool, allowing customers to follow the progress
of their CRB check from application to delivery online;
- a streamlined point of sale procedure for both telephone and paper applications
in response to customer feedback;
- the streamlining of the registered body network;
- new service level agreements with the police forces; and
- access to improved data sources, including the British Transport Police, increasing
the amount of information given to customers in a CRB check.
Home Office Minister Joan Ryan said:
"It has always been the aim of the CRB to become self-funding and I am delighted
that it has been able to do this at the same time as handling increased demand and achieving record levels of customer satisfaction.
The CRB plays a vital role helping to protect the most vulnerable in our society giving employers the extra tools they need
to make informed recruitment decisions.
"This creates a great foundation for future developments in the CRB. The agency
will provide the administrative backbone to the Vetting and Barring Scheme, offering continuously updated vetting, a key recommendation
of the Bichard Inquiry.
"The speed and accuracy of CRB checks will also be improved through implementation
of the National Identity Scheme and the agency is already working towards a joint venture with the Identity and Passport service."
CRB Chief Executive Vince Gaskell said:
"The CRB is continuing to meet milestones laid out in the five year strategy outlined
in 2006. Self funding status is a key landmark for the organisation and we will continue to build on the customer service
improvements which help us achieve high customer satisfaction year on year.
"The CRB will continue to develop the service it offers to its customers helping
to improve protection for children and vulnerable adults. I am also pleased to confirm that volunteers will continue to get
The disclosure fees for 2007/2008 will remain at:
- Standard CRB check - £31.00
- Enhanced CRB check - £36.00
- POVAFirst check - £6.00
- Volunteers - Free
In 2006, the CRB issued its 10 millionth disclosure and is currently issuing over
250,000 disclosures every month. Demand is continually increasing: In 2002/3 1.5 million disclosures were issued whilst in
2005/6 there were 2.9 million.
1. The CRB provides access to criminal record information through its Disclosure
service. It enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying
candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving children or vulnerable adults. The CRB was established
under Part V of the Police Act 1997 and commenced operation in 2002.
The British Horse Society and the Animal Health Trust has launched a campaign to
raise £250,000 to eradicate Strangles – a horrible disease attacking and killing horses.
HRH The Princess Royal spoke movingly of her personal experience of the equine
plague Strangles - an outbreak at her stables at her Gatcombe home.
The Princess Royal said she remembered the way she and the stable girl who was
looking after the infected horses were treated by other people. “ No one spoke to the girl for weeks let alone gave
her their hand.”
The Princess Royal said: “I am very pleased The Animal Health Trust and The
British Horse Society are working together on this campaign. It could make a real difference to the welfare of horses.
“Two of my horses suffered permanent
damage.I learnt the hard way – I still don’t know where my Strangles
HRH The Princess Royal helped the two charities launch the campaign at the Royal
Society of Medicine, London.
Further regional launches follow in Edinburgh, Cardiff,
Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester,
Leeds and Bristol.
BHS Chief Executive Graham Cory said:
"We have a golden opportunity to stamp out this terrible disease. If the money needed for research can be raised, we are confident
we can tackle this problem effectively and stem the spread of Strangles."
Mr Cory said: “If all of Britain’s
4.2 million riders were to make a contribution to the target of £250,000 they would only have to give 3p a year each.”
He said: “The British Horse Society would lead by example in doing anything
it could to ensure that the money needed for Strangles research was made.
AHT Chief Executive Peter Webbon said: "Strangles must be beaten.We believe a solution can be found through our research programme. We urge everyone to help us and the
BHS to end the suffering of horses and ponies caused by Strangles."
Animal Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw said: "The health and wellbeing of the equine
population in the UK is vital and we welcome any opportunity
taken by the industry to tackle important equine diseases such as Strangles.
"We applaud this joint approach by The British Horse Society and the Animal Health
Trust.We hope their fundraising initiatives are successful and the campaign
is well received and supported by the whole horse industry."
Strangles – triggered by the bacterium Streptococcus equi – is one
of the world's most common respiratory diseases, hitting horses of all types and ages.
It spreads like wildfire in stables, striking down horses at a devastating rate.Strangles kills up to 10 percent of the horses it attacks.Many others survive but become carriers of the disease without any exterior symptoms and go on to infect
Strangles is an economic disaster for affected yards which often have to shut down
for months.Getting rid of Strangles depends on research to improve methods of
prevention and diagnosis.
Eventing legend Lucinda Green said: "The Animal Health Trust and The British Horse
Society are tackling Strangles - the equestrian world must do its best to support them.Strangles is a problem we can no longer afford to ignore.Every horse
owner should be aware of the threat and be prepared to join in the fight against it."
Top show jumper Nick Skelton said: "Strangles is a terrible disease that causes
great distress to horses.I fully support The British Horse Society and The Animal
Health Trust in their efforts to eradicate the disease."
You can help by making a donation online by credit card or direct debit through
the strangles campaign website http://www.strangles.org/,by phoning 08700 502380, or posting a cheque to; Strangles Appeal, Animal Health
Trust, FREEPOST CB360, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7BR.
About strangles - When a horse
contracts the disease, it initially loses its energy and appetite. Swelling and abscesses occur around the throat. The horse
then finds it hard to breathe and swallow – as it is being strangled (hence the name Strangles). When the abscesses
rupture, in some cases other horses can be infected. If the abscesses spread to other parts of the horse's body, the condition
is usually fatal.See the strangles information leaflet http://www.aht.org.uk/strangles.org/strangle_leaflet.pdf and the strangles campaign website http://www.strangles.org/
The Animal HealthTrust - The
AHT is a charity dedicated to improving the health of dogs, cats and horses by addressing the problems of disease and injury.
It achieves this by providing specialist clinical services for animals in need and advancing veterinary science. Even if your
horse or pet has never been treated directly by the AHT, it will have benefited from the results of the Trust’s work.See www.aht.org.uk
The British Horse Society - the
UK's biggest horse charity with a membership of more than
100,000, held a Strangles Awareness Week from 15-21 May last year (2006), and BHS Scotland has been lobbying hard in the Scottish
Parliament for new measures to help to slow the spread of Strangles in Scotland.See www.bhs.org.uk
Stables under threat - A Stables in
Garston (Hertfordshire, UK) is struggling to stay afloat after a devastating virus (strangles) ruined its reputation, despite
being given the all-clear months ago.
The Horse Trust, based at Speen, has committed a further £1 million to equine research
and clinical scholarships, creating five clinical scholarships and five scientific research grants following the recent meeting
of its Scientific Committee.
Paul Jepson, Chief Executive and Veterinary Director of the Trust said, "The Horse
Trust's investment in equine research illustrates the charity's commitment to the health and welfare of all horses, to reduce
pain and suffering and find cures and treatments to a variety of diseases."
The International League for the protection of horses has launched a new junior
website.Children and teenagers will be able to choose whether they want to be
an ILPH PonyRanger or an ILPH HorseRanger, and will be spoilt for choice with games, news, ILPH information and stories -
such as a day in the life of an ILPH Field Officer. Find out more at www.ilphrangers.org
Horses targeted in shotgun attack
One horse has had to be put down and vets fear two more may face the
same fate after a shooting attack in Surrey.
Disabled woman devastated after horse dies in cruel 'arson' attack
Parents of a woman with ME have spoken of her devastation after the horse that
was "her life" was killed in a fire, thought to have been started deliberately.
The 20-year-old grey Arab mare Rose was in stables in Marsh Road, North
Wootton, in the early hours of Wednesday when the blaze began. Despite the efforts of two Lynn
fire crews, sadly they were unable to rescue her.
LPG cylinders should be kept in a safe, well-ventilated place, preferably in the open air, and away from occupied
buildings, boundaries and sources of ignition and of heat.Cylinders should be
kept upright and properly secured.
The main use of ammonium nitrate is as a fertiliser.It is not in itself combustible but, as it is an oxidising agent, it can assist other
materials to burn, even if air is excluded.Ammonium nitrate will not explode
due to the friction and impact found in normal handling, but it can be detonated under heat and confinement or severe shock.
Twenty panicking horses were rescued from a blazing stables by two brave young
workers. Stable girls managed to chase the horses out as flames and smoke engulfed the building at Stainsby Grange Equestrian
Centre, in Thornaby, Cleveland, UK.
This is an unusual case in unusual circumstances but demonstrates that if a
non-conductive roof had been used this fire may not have started.When designing
and putting up new buildings take into account all the risk factors before choosing your construction materials.
Rescue Centre destroyed by
Safe Hands Rescue Centre in Derbyshire
was destroyed as a result of an arson attack on Saturday 27th January 2007.Fortunately none of the animals died
in the fire.
Horse rider died after being thrown under truck’s
The Bucks Free Press (23 December 2006) reports that an inquest heard that a teenage horse
rider looked on in horror as her mother was thrown from her startled horse under the back wheels of a passing sewage truck.
It was reported that Police were forced to close the busy Southwick Road
near Wickham, Hampshire after an accident between a horse and a car resulting in the horse having to be put down at the scene.It is understood that the rider escaped without serious injury.
International body (FEI) to probe South Korean equestrian's death
The international governing body of equestrian sports will investigate the accidental
death of South Korean rider Kim Hyung-chil last year at the Doha Asian Games.The
investigation will take place in London.
Read more from Yonhap News - Seoul,South
Korea (24 January 2007)
Racehorse trainer Norman Babbage was nearly killed when two huge bales of hay crushed
The 44-year-old was knocked over and trapped by two one tonne hay bales at his
stables in Brockhampton, near Cheltenham.
The hay fell 5ft from a stack, leaving Norman
with a tear to his bladder and a leg broken in two places.
Norman was taken to CheltenhamGeneralHospital, where his condition is comfortable.
Read more from the Gloucestershire Echo (14 February 2007)
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated 202 bale handling and stacking accidents between 1986 and 1996. Of these accidents,
23 were fatal and some of the others caused injuries serious enough to stop those involved from working again.
RIDERS are demanding a reduced speed limit on a popular short-cut after a horse
had to be destroyed after a road accident.Emergency crews tried for three hours
to save the stricken animal, which was knocked down on Cleadon Lane, East Boldon, South Tyneside.
The mother of a young Pembrokeshire horse rider who was trampled by her horse during
a freak accident is in no doubt that her daughter’s body protector saved her from serious injury.
Emma was leading her Shetland pony, Beans, during a riding lesson at her home when
The pony’s front legs became tangled in the leading rein and in his struggle
to get free Emma was trampled.
She escaped with minor facial injuries but her body protector bears the scar of
what might have been. A hoof mark is clearly visible in the breastbone area, even though the horse was not shod, and the impact
has broken the protective structure.
“If she hadn’t been wearing it she would have been very badly hurt,’’
said her mother, Jacqui. “It shows how important it is that riders wear body protectors, even when they are not actually
sitting on a horse.’’
Emma, a member of the South Pembrokeshire Pony Club, was taken to MorristonHospital,
Swansea but fortunately her facial injuries were superficial. She is expected
to make a full recovery and the incident has not put her off riding.
Her body protector will have to be replaced and her mother says she would like
the damaged one to be used during Pony Club safety demonstrations as a reminder of how important they are.
She said she would never allow Emma or her older sister, Anna, ride without a body
By law, all riders under 14 have to wear a riding hat (when riding on the road)
but that isn’t the case with body protectors.
Sue Scourfield, who runs the Pembrokeshire Riding Centre at Hundleton, said she
would like to see the wearing of them made compulsory.
No riders at her stables are allowed to ride without a body protector. “If
someone has been clever enough to design equipment to keep us safe it is a foolhardy person who doesn’t use it,’’
“I really believe that body protectors are a major protection, especially
for children. Riders will still fall off and break arms, legs and noses but if the main core of the body is protected they
stand a better chance of being safe from serious injury.’’ Sue says many riders were put off from wearing body
protectors because they don’t like the look of them but there could be a high price for pay for the sake of vanity.
This report is reproduced by courtesy of the Pembrokeshire
Farmer (May 2006) and the author, Debbie James.
Reports of Neue Schule’s Comfy Contact bits breaking in the
middle have forced the company to recall two from their range
Neue Schule bits is recalling two bits from its range due to safety
concerns. The company is offering refunds for the Comfy Contact eggbut cheek and baucher cheek released between 1 September 2004
and 31 December 2005.
"We're not entirely sure there is a problem," said a spokesperson
for the company, "but we sought advice from the appropriate bodies and are following their instructions."
The recall follows two independent reports of the Comfy Contact bits
breaking in the middle. "It is a safety issue," the Neue Schule spokesperson confirmed. Customers who purchased either of
the Comfy Contact bits during the specified dates are advised to stop using them immediately. Neue Schule is offering refunds
The Neue Schule bit company markets itself as providing "bits designed
by thinking riders for horse's comfort and performance." A redesigned bit will be available to buy in approximately eight
"We were redesigning the bits anyway," said the spokesperson. "At
the moment the barrel section in all these type of bits ceases to roll up and down the tongue when the rider takes up a contact.
We are working on a design where the barrel will continue to roll at all times."
For more information on the recall or Neue Schule's new bit email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or (tel: 07865 022056).
Motorists have been warned of a potential safety risk linked to the use pressure
washers - which it was claimed could lead to tyre failure.This potential risk
may extend to horseboxes, trailers and 4X4’s.
Read more from Norwich Union Risk Services (23/01/2007)
Whether you’re trying to find out the legalities
of driving a lorry, towing a trailer or just want further information about loading visit The Organisation of Horsebox
and Trailer Owners website which is packed with helpful information.
Jane Phillips is the solicitor who acted for Dr.
and Mrs. Henley in the infamous Mirvahedy v Henley case.The findings of that case have had ongoing
significant legal liability and insurance implications for every horse owner in England
In this special feature Jane exclusively provides
Riding Safely with details of some of the cases she has been involved with over the last two years - brought in Negligence
and under the Animals Act - winning 8 out of 9.
Jane told Riding Safely “It just shows that
despite Henley and Mirvahedy we can still win cases!”
New animal welfare during transport rules come into force
New rules relating to the welfare of animals during transport come
into force on Friday 5 January 2007.
The new regulations are intended to improve the welfare of animals
during transport and apply to anyone moving live vertebrate animals in connection with an economic activity.
Journeys excluded from the scope of the new rules include journeys
not taken in the course of business or trade or journeys undertaken under veterinary instruction.
The regulations require those transporting animals in connection with
an economic activity to be authorised. Two types of authorisation exist: one for short journeys (over 65km and up to eight
hours) and one for long journeys (including eight hours and over). Those travelling over eight hours may require the vehicles
used to be inspected and approved.
Full details on the regulation's requirements, including details
of how to apply for transport authorisations, can be found on the Defra website at:
1. Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 comes into force today across
all EU Member States. The Regulation is implemented in England
by the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006
(SI 2006/3260). Parallel legislation is being introduced in Scotland,
Wales and Northern Ireland.
Source:Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs 5 January 2007
Putting things into perspective…
The following letter appeared in Horse
& Hound Magazine on 8 February 2007 and
helps to redress some of the concerns raised when horseboxes are used on an “amateur” basis.
Special licences for Lorries: VOSA's
Sir - I refer to the article "Does your
£5 win make you illegal?" (23 November 2006), regarding the use of HGV horseboxes, where prize-money or payment for petrol may be involved.
The Vehicles and Operators Service Agency
(VOSA) appreciates that the story may have caused alarm to some of your readers and this was not our intention. When approached
by H&H on this topic, we wanted to ensure that all the potential legal boundaries were made clear.
The reality is that the lawful definition
of "for hire or reward" is reasonably wide, and whether or not this is taking place and an operator's licence required is
ultimately for a court of law to decide. Our approach is to err on the side of caution when advising members of the public.
Our aim is to enforce the law in a proportionate
way. Generally, where a horsebox is used on an "amateur" basis, we would not normally consider that the vehicle is being used
for hire or reward. We would not consider it in the public interest to prosecute the user of a vehicle (for failing to have
an operator's licence) in cases where nothing more than petrol money or modest prize money were involved.
4. As well as this the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones covered the risks
in their report on Mobile Phones and Health in 2000 - see paragraphs 5.201 to 5.214, pages 86 to 90 for a summary of research
worldwide - available online at : http://www.iegmp.org.uk/report/text.htm
HSE issues safety warning during severe weather in North
West (11 January 2007)
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has issued an urgent warning to employers
and staff working outside to help prevent unnecessary accidents during the severe weather today in North
David Ashton, Head of Operations at the HSE in the North
"During severe weather like today's, with very strong winds and rain, there is
an increased risk of major and fatal accidents, especially for those working outside and at height. Employers and workers
need to reassess the increased risks of what they are doing in light of the changed weather conditions. Worker safety is paramount
and must come first.
"As well as the increased risk of slipping or falling from height there is also
the danger of unsecured items and materials being caught by the wind and moving - potentially putting members of the public
at risk. We would urge all those in control of activities affected by the weather to make sure the necessary controls are
in place and take a common sense approach to ensuring the safety of their staff and others."
"A number of different industries could be affected and may need to take extra
care. The construction industry with its extensive use of scaffolding and materials placed outside, together with forestry
workers, or farmers doing outside maintenance work could all be affected.
"Whilst all businesses should routinely carry out a risk assessment of the activities
they undertake, to maintain health and safety standards these assessments need to be revised where the environment they are
being carried out in changes."
The following questions may to help employers assess the risk:
* How is the weather affecting working activities?
* Is safety likely to be affected? If so, what extra steps do I need to take?
* Are materials secure?
* Have my workers commented on conditions?
* At what point do I need to consider stopping work? You need to consider stopping
if worker safety is in jeopardy.
Advice on working at height and working during severe weather conditions can be
found on the Health & Safety Executive's website: http://www.hse.gov.uk
HSE's InfoLine 0845 3450055
Don't take risks during treework - Health and Safety Executive warning
- South East (11 January 2007)
Gale force winds in Kent
have brought down a number of trees and more windy weather is forecast, the HSE would like to remind landowners to ensure
that only trained and competent people are used to deal with fallen trees on their land.
Extra care must also be taken when working in severe weather as this will make
the task of removing damaged or fallen trees more hazardous.
HSE Acting Principal Inspector Mike Walters warns:
"We don't want to have a fatal accident following the current stormy weather. Chainsaws
are dangerous machines unless you are trained and competent to use them. Any person using them should be properly trained
and if they are not, should seek help from an appropriately trained and competent professional."
"Companies and businesses employing contractors to work on wind blown trees should
assure themselves of the contractor's competence before engaging their services. Arboricultural trade associations can supply
details of approved contractors and information to help in choosing a competent tree work contractor."
HSE advice to people undertaking treework includes:
* Anyone using a chainsaw should have received adequate training and be competent
in using a chain saw for the type of work they are carrying out.
* Suitable protective equipment should be worn, no matter how small the job, including:
- Safety helmet
- Hearing protection
- Eye protection
- Upper body protection
- Leg protection
- Chainsaw boots
* Avoid working alone with a chainsaw
* Before starting work, operators should check work sites thoroughly to identify
* Operators need to be both physically and mentally fit before using a chain saw
* Chainsaws should not be used by anyone under the age of 16.
* Chainsaws expose operators to high levels of noise and hand-arm vibration, which
can be controlled by good management and practice.
* Proper maintenance is essential for the safe use of chainsaws
2. Specific guidance to help people choose a competent
person to undertake treework can be found in the leaflet titled "Treework - Choosing your Arborist" which can be freely downloaded
Quad bike campaign driven home in Craven
The results of a recent intensive inspection of farms in Craven show that safety
has been boosted since the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) threw the spotlight on the use of quad bikes in the area.
HSE inspectors visited a total of 119 farms in the Craven area during the period
December 2006 until 19 January 2007, with the focus particularly
on workplace transport, and the provision of protective equipment and training.
Of the 87 farms with quad bikes, four were served with Prohibition Notices, one
to stop the use of a quad bike without a helmet (despite one being available) by the 18-year old son of the farmer, and three
to stop the use of a bike until a helmet was available. A further two Improvement Notices were also served, which require
training of the quad bike operators.
Throughout the inspection there was evidence that HSE's campaign had significantly
raised awareness of the issue of quad bike safety. Farmers reported that the visits had prompted them to buy safety helmets,
and local dealers noted an increase in the servicing of bikes and the refitting of tyres. As a safety bonus, there was also
evidence that the inspection had prompted farmers had looked carefully at other risks on their farms and many had, for example,
replaced the old or unsuitable ladders which are another leading cause of injury.
This targeted inspection was prompted by the tragic death of a farm worker in a
quad bike accident in Craven which lead to a £13,000 fine plus substantial costs for his employers. The case, one of two fatalities
in the area due to quad bikes, highlighted the importance of the wearing of the safety helmet that could have saved the man's
life for relatively little cost. All the farmers visited by HSE said they were aware of the background to both quad bike accidents.
Linton farmer Jonathan Metcalfe said:
"All too often people are killed or injured due to lack of appropriate headgear
in the workplace and the HSE campaign has helped to highlight the dangers. As a farmer who regularly uses transport in the
workplace, I believe that you can never be complacent about wearing protective headgear, as it could be the difference between
life and death."
Keith King, the HSE Principal Inspector who lead this campaign, said:
"Between 1996 and 2006 23 people were killed nationally in accidents at work on
quad bikes. Of these 17 involved head injuries where no head protection was worn.
"If you don't wear a helmet, you greatly increase the risk of serious injury. Sensible
health and safety is about managing risks, not eliminating them. It is vital to always wear a helmet, maintain the vehicle
properly, and consider getting some proper training in how to handle the quad bike. It is encouraging to see that HSE's campaign
seems to be driving these messages home in Craven."
and Safety Executive (Yorkshire and Humber)24 January 2007
The HSE have produced an information sheet providing
guidance on the safe use of All Terrain Vehicles (ATV's) – quad bikes
Eastenders celebrity becomes patron for Veteran Horse Welfare (1 February 2007)
Veteran Horse Welfare (VHW) now has one of the top celebrities from the world of
Walford as their Patron. Eastenders star, Pam St. Clement who plays Pat Evans is now in her 21st year of appearing in the
show and has become a household name, and has been in the lead role on many a gripping episode.
Pam was brought up with working horses on a hill farm and was a keen rider and
shares the charity’s views on the management of older horses and she took a few minutes from her very busy filming schedule
to speak about her new role, “When a horse or pony reaches a certain age it doesn’t necessarily mean retirement.
Veteran horses and ponies are very rewarding, and in later years with correct management there is no reason why they can’t
lead happy and active lives. I really do hope that supporting this very worthwhile charity, I can help raise the profile and
care of veteran horses”
The charity was formed in 2004 by Julianne Aston, also founder of the Veteran Horse
Society in 2001. Commenting from the VHW rehabilitation centre Julianne quoted; “I am absolutely honoured and overwhelmed
that Pam has agreed to become patron, she is a real genuine horse lover and very committed to our cause. I am sure that her
celebrity status will help raise the awareness and plight of veterans within Europe and the UK.
With millions watching this very popular soap opera, each week, we hope that the charity will now have much more recognition.
The charity funds private individuals and organisations with older horses and already
has donated money to the Veteran Horse Society to assist in the development of the welfare of older horses. For further information
on how you too can assist them or for a fund raising pack please call 0870 2426653 or email email@example.com
American Horse Council’s new and improved web site an essential
Washington, D.C. - Keeping abreast of national legislation
and regulations that affect all members of the horse industry just got a little easier. The American Horse Council’s
newly improved web site provides timely and educational information on any issues in Washington,
D.C., that relate to horses.
Now, www.horsecouncil.org is a true reflection of the important work the American Horse Council does every day in Washington representing all segments
of the horse industry
(8 February 2007).
Barn Fire Claims Two Horses
In the early morning hours of 31 Jan, a barn fire believed to be caused by an electrical
malfunction claimed the lives of two Thoroughbreds boarded at Warren Lyster's 100-acre Tarleton Farm near Paris, Ky.
Huge Crowd Gathers as Stadium Jumping, Inc. Hosts EHV–1
Wellington, FL – January 4, 2007 – Stadium Jumping, Inc.
hosted a meeting in The Jockey Club at the Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds to discuss the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1)
outbreak. Approximately 500 concerned horsemen attended and many pertinent questions were asked of the panel.
The outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus Type-1 that prompted protective measures at
race tracks and area equine businesses has been brought under control.It has
been more than three weeks since a horse has tested positive for the virus, Charles Bronson, Florida's agriculture commissioner,
said in a release.The final equine facility quarantine was lifted over the weekend.
Equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) is one of a large
group of DNA viruses causing potentially serious disease in horses and other species.EHV-1 has two forms—one that causes abortion in mares and one that causes respiratory infection and neurological
symptoms.The most recent outbreaks of concern have involved the EHV-1 respiratory/neurological
form of the virus.
Press-Enterprise - Riverside, CA ,USA -Laura
Rico - 7 January 2007
Helmet law urged for kids on horseback
Gary Hornstein is coping with his daughter's death the only way he knows how --
by ensuring others don't suffer the same fate.
The Acreage resident's daughter, Nicole, 12, died in June after falling from a
horse and striking her head on the pavement, blocks from the family home in western Palm Beach County. Now, Hornstein is pushing
for a youth helmet law when the Legislature convenes in March.
Read more from Sun-Sentinel.com - Joel Hood
- Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, USA (26
The Northern Territory's outback community is rallying around a severely injured
Quita Docking is recovering from a head injury she received four years ago, when
she was crushed by her horse.In a miraculous recovery, she has left her wheelchair
and learnt to walk, and ride again.Her mother now wants to encourage all riders
to wear hard hats.
Read more from ABC News Online – Austrailia
(15 December 2006)
Cheltenham Racecourse is to be the venue for the 2007 British Equestrian Trade
Association (BETA) Conference & Autumn Exhibition, to be held on Sunday 14th and Monday 15th October.
BETA has enhanced the fixture to build on the success of its highly acclaimed inaugural
Conference in Harrogate
The two-day, trade specific BETA Conference & Autumn Exhibition will run all
day Sunday when delegates can tour approximately 30 trade stands displaying equestrian products and related services.
Sunday evening will be a social occasion before Monday’s Conference with
a line-up of influential speakers, industry discussion and the AGM.
“Last year’s BETA Conference was a great success and a complete sell-out,
so expanding the idea into the 2007 BETA Conference & Autumn Exhibition has been the logical progression,” said
Claire Williams, BETA’s executive director.
Admission to the 2007 BETA Conference & Autumn Exhibition will be strictly
trade only. Non-BETA members are welcome to attend with only the BETA AGM being restricted to members.
Consultation on a draft new Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy
Defra published a draft new Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy for public
consultation on 28 November 2006.
You can respond and please note that the deadline for responses
has been extended to 20 March 2007.
The Strategy sets out Government’s vision for the delivery of
animal welfare in England. It is aimed at stakeholders in all sectors and sets a clear direction
of travel for achieving good welfare in the future.
It includes 5 specific Strategic Goals, focused on key areas, and
it explains that improvements in welfare will require a move towards greater partnership working, with an appropriate division
of responsibility between Government and its stakeholders and an increased focus on innovative, non-regulatory delivery mechanisms.
It defines clear roles and responsibilities for those involved in
the care of animals and it sets out principles for use in prioritising future work.
The British Horse Industry Confederation was launched on 3 March 1999
to enable the British Horse industry to speak to government with a single, united voice. The aim of the BHIC is to work in
a spirit of positive cooperation with government and other authorities to best serve the interests of horses and riders.
The BHIC comprises the British Horseracing Board (BHB), The British
Equestrian Federation (BEF) and the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (TBA). It also has direct representation from the British
Horse Society (BHS) the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA).
The initiative was spearheaded by Michael Clayton (then BHS Chairman) and Tristram Ricketts (BHB) together with Lord Donoughue,
who had served as an Agriculture Minister, and who had seen at first hand the lack of profile and fragmentation of horse organizations
within government policy making and lobbying circles. This umbrella body was formed and for the first time ever brought together
both racing and sports horse and other equine organisations.
The current Chairman is Graham Cory, who is currently Chief Executive
of the BHS, with Gavin Pritchard Gordon (TBA) as Vice-Chairman.
The organisation enables horse organisations to:
·talk to government with
a single, united voice
·to share and to publicise
information on policies and issues affecting horses and riders;
·and to help raise the profile
of the horse industry amongst officials and opinion formers.
and Safety Guidance for Inspections of Horse Riding Establishments and Livery Yards
Published in May 2006, this document
sets out current good practice for environmental health practitioners; licensing officers; vets and animal wardens and also
provides a useful tool for both owners and managers of horse riding establishments and livery yards.
Supported by the riding industry’s
major stakeholders, the guidance aims to fill a gap in existing literature and also provides useful checklists necessary to
minimise the risk associated with such premises.
It recognises the need to strike a
practical balance to reduce hazards without hindering the sustainability of the riding industry.
with Horses is a cost effective, award winning equine health and safety training programme, leading to an accredited Vocational
2 programme is suitable for all those involved in any equine related activity including full or part-time students, clients,
trainees, school work placements as well as those employed working with horses.
in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive, Workplace Health Connect is a government funded service providing confidential,
practical and free advice to small businesses on workplace health and safety, management of sickness absence and return to
Show of safety(Horse & Hound Letters – 28 December 2006)
Sir - Hats off to the BBC Breakfast News presenter who put his hat
on, along with body protector, for a lead rein lesson with Tim Stockdale at Olympia
Not only did it give Tim, following on from the success of Only Fools
on Horses, an opportunity to promote the benefits of learning to ride at Riding Schools, it also provided a positive image